Ralph Peter (VP – Tom Tom)


Confluence of Technologies - Intelligent Transportation System
Last 20 years of technology has helped us to detect the traffic information, hotspots and travel times based on probe casts. We used it to measure speed at any moment of time. Over the last 10 years in Tom Tom, we have built a community of more than 450 billion connected users with smart phones, fleet management, GPS devices, intellectual devices collecting probe timings in real time, providing the services to the end users, to apps, to intellectual devices to help people move from A to B very fast.

Traffic Technology Today
In the past, people use to collect information using loop detectors, cameras and sensors from the ground for collecting local data. We do it differently today, as we are connected users with connected cars with sensors and having everything on Cloud. We use database in pre-developing services into Cloud and connect users with these services to provide good mobility to help them reach their destination in a fast and safe way.

Storage Security Best Practices
It’s always an important thing. First thing is to protect the user privacy, what we do is we collect the database and second is we ensure that nobody can hack into our datacenter to keep the privacy of our customers.

We have big datacenters, one in Amsterdam and one in China, where all the data is stored for a couple of years. We collect around 10 billion datasets, every day, speed measurements so that we can know how fast people can move and we can make better decisions to bring people along the traffic. We also help governments and traffic management companies in making good decisions while planning infrastructure, during traffic control.

Major Technologies
Behind all these things, Big Data and Analytics, are advanced map matching technologies against digital Map. We have advance Data Fusion Algorithms to bring all the data slots together, removing artifacts and providing reliable traffic information for hot users and also for modes of transports and the art is to remove the artifacts from your data that you don’t want to bring in services.

Traffic Management Streamlining Technologies
We see the growth of navigation systems on smart phones, on intellectual devices, on GPS devices as a growing community of connected users. They are trying to avoid traffic, they are retouring the traffic if possible and they are helping themselves to set up times and when they do this, it also helps other which are not connected.

Futurist Predictions in the World of Technology
Well something that could be a Big Bet in future would be Automatic Driving and Semi- Automatic Driving. In Europe and US, people are talking to industrial governments, for implementing the connected car in automatic driving. It is really a big change for driving and also for the whole legal system who help companies build this ecosystem.

Big data has also impacted for car to become more advanced. They can collect advanced data from the car like it’s camera or distance measurement device, it’s a viper signal’s on/off, fog lamp on/off etc. It can connect us and can provide the advanced services throughout the journey for better safety and better comfort of journey.

The latest one as I earlier said was Automatic Driving. It’s based on the map making, you need navigations systems cope with fresh maps and for the updates even on the minute basis for new services for enabling the safety and safe driving.

It’s a good thing but you have to take it in a right way. In the end it improves safety but also if you have a boring ride on a high way you can do other interesting things instead of driving yourself. I would not go that far as it’s fun driving your own car and I drive it myself. But in some piece of your journey, it’s good to switch off and do something else and interesting.

Disruptive Innovation: Challenges
The biggest challenge is that there are 2 eco systems. One is the old one that was the infrastructure and one is the new one, with connected cars. Our point is to get assurance from the government, industry and traffic consultees to vote together with a strong vision to use connected cars for traffic management and control. It’s a disruptive change but I think it’s good for all. Better connected user, better traffic at lower costs.

Changing role of CXOs
You always have to look what is going around you, you can never sleep. Technology is changing very fast and you have to see what is the impact of that new technology on your own business. You can never sleep or stay. One should always observe and take advantage of changes and know before that what you want to do.

Once the implementation starts, it will lead us to some variants, and of course in India, we have to work on more basics, but in the end tables can move faster. We have seen the same in our industry, the same can happen with traffic management, you don’t have to go with same mistakes and invest in infrastructure for sending traffic, you can immediately jump on the connected car and take advantage of latest technology.

My role is to increase the community of the connected users. We have currently 5-6% globally and want to grow this to 15-20% So we can start controlling traffic, that is my vision.